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03/18/2001: First edition of page. >>>

apple iic+:

Apple IIc+


quick facts

Overview Photograph
Apple IIc+ Front
Apple IIc+ rear view
FCC ID BCG6DSA2S4500.
Model or Part # A2S4500
My unit's vintage Serial #E836BZUA2S4500
CPU WDC 4MHz 65C02.
Memory 128K RAM.
Operating System Applesoft BASIC in ROM.
Ports Two Mac-style serial ports, NTSC video out, 9-pin Apple joystick port, RGB output connector, Apple floppy drive port.
Video/audio output The IIc+ has NTSC composite out (in practice, mostly used to drive monochrome monitors) and an RGB port. The output syncrates are TV-compatible, so it can be used with the IIgs's 13" RGB Monitor, and (with the correct cable) monitors for certain other computers such as the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga.

The IIc+ is capable of 40-column and 80-column text, color graphics, and a split-screen mode (most useful for text/graphic adventures!) with four lines of text at the bottom of the screen and a graphic area above.

There is a built-in speaker providing simple 1-channel sound.
Available peripherals The Apple IIc+ has a built-in double-sided, double-density (800K) 3.5" floppy drive.

Unlike some of its predecessors, the IIc+ lacks expansion slots, but fortunately it has a lot of peripherals already integrated. It can be used with external 5.25" and 3.5" floppy drives, and certain special hard drives that connect to the floppy port.

The history of the Apple IIc+ is interesting. This was the last machine in the II line, and I have heard it described as fairly rare (though I have seen quite a few on ebay for around US$30. I paid about US$20 for my machine with an Apple monochrome monitor and an external 5.25" Apple floppy drive). It is also the fastest 8-bit Apple II ever made; it has a 4MHz accelerated CPU with "8K" (actually, from inspection, 16K) of cache. I got my IIc+ by mistake; I thought I was bidding on a IIc, and didn't realize the difference until the machine arrived.

From the accounts I have read, this machine was produced as a comeback to an Asian clone machine called the Laser 128EX - in a neat full-circle reference, I had a Laser 128EX as part of my collection back in Australia. Apple didn't have a lot of time to devote to this project (and they probably didn't want to throw a lot of engineering effort into it), so they licensed an off-the-shelf 4MHz accelerator card, integrated it into the IIc's architecture, and called it the IIc+.

Note that the mainboard also has a large, high-density connector near the main DRAM area, which is reportedly a connector for an Apple 1Mb expansion card. I have yet to confirm that this card exists.


downloads

Unfortunately, the Apple II emulation and nostalgia scene is held back significantly by a number of troublemaking busybodies with loud voices, an inability to mind their own business, and nothing productive to occupy their time. These small-minded people choose not to understand the concept of abandonware, thereby making life additionally difficult for the heroic efforts of emulator authors and archivists of ancient software worldwide.

To elaborate: There is an enormous amount of intellectual property - including most of the Apple II software and firmware - which is no longer capable of generating any revenue stream for the original owners. In many cases, the rights to this software or firmware belong to companies that have ceased to exist. There will therefore be no challenge to someone who chooses to distribute copies of this ancient software.

Unfortunately, some people find it their duty to stir up trouble by contacting ISPs that host Apple II software archives and informing them that they are providing downloadable copyrighted software (which is technically correct, but (a) NOT the concern of these do-gooding busybodies, and (b) has, in the vast majority of cases, no real enforcement issues behind it). Since ISPs are litigation-wary, they then generally force their user to remove his collection of Apple II software.

If you are in the mood for a bitter, pointless, circular argument against dogmatic zealots with no concept of logic or reason, feel free to visit comp.sys.apple2 and start talking about this issue. I wish you the very best of luck in converting the attention-seeking stickybeaks into halfway bearable people, but I fear that forcibly removing their Internet access is the only option.

Due to the reprehensible actions of these pathetic individuals, the Apple II emulation scene is a long way behind other 8-bit platforms. (Don't misinterpret this: Quality emulators for 8-bit Apple machines do exist. It's just that using them in a non-underground way is difficult). Here are some useful emulators:

  • a24w_240.zip - The OASIS Apple II emulator for Windows. This emulator requires separate ROM image files.
  • applepc.zip - The ApplePC 2.52 Apple II emulator for DOS. This emulator requires separate ROM image files.
  • adt120.zip - Using this program and a nullmodem cable, you can transfer your Apple II disks to disk image files on the PC. (Apple used a modified GCR system for their disk format, and the PC can neither read nor write these disks).


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